American Idol Has No Soul

America got a big dose of shock therapy on last night’s American Idol. There was the initial shock of Ryan’s announcement that there would be a shocking result. And once that shock wore off, it was replaced by the shocking news that voters had cast Michael Lynche into Idol purgatory. Then we were shocked again as the judges unanimously voted to use their one save to resurrect the big fella for at least one more week.

All of which would be very shocking except for one thing. Step back a bit, and it all becomes pretty predictable when you look at two key Idol voting patterns over the years:

Dude’s Too Old: Taylor Hicks, who turned 29 during his time on the show and seems to have been a bit of a fluke, is the only Idol winner who was older than Mike (who's 26). The average age of Idol winners over the show’s eight seasons has been 22. I remember watching Mike during his up-close-and-personals; he was cradling his baby and I wrote, “This guy is a grown-up.” On Idol, that’s not necessarily a good thing, and it probably wasn’t a coincidence that the show’s dads were in the bottom two last night.

Male Soul Singers Just Don’t Do Well On Idol: Let’s skip the race card accusations, shall we? That’s not really the point. Idol viewers have voted for three African-Americans among the show’s eight Idol winners, so it seems a matter of changing tastes more than anything else.

Cute, non-threatening guys will always have their day on Idol, and this year we've also witnessed a definite movement toward alternative female song stylists; Crystal and Siobhan remain among the favorites. Soul and R&B; guys like Mike—who skip the pyrotechnics and dance-driven performances we've seen on the show in recent weeks from Usher, Diddy, and Jason Derulo—just aren’t seen as contemporary enough (to borrow the judges’ parlance). Luther Vandross is dead, literally and figuratively. And Mike’s attempts to define himself as something more than a traditional crooner apparently haven’t succeeded. His “Eleanor Rigby” clearly didn’t work.

The Beyonce/diva model may still have a bit of life in it, but old-school soul hasn’t fared well on Idol. Ruben Studdard may have won in Season 2, but ever since then, African-American women belters have fared much better than their male counterparts.

Other questions to ponder:

—If all of Michael Jackson’s dance moves are still alive thanks to Jason Derulo, can Dr. Conrad Murray still be charged for manslaughter?

—Forget the demographics: Did the prospect of Big Mike going nipple-to-nipple with Simon in a “pec contest” doom his chances?

—Is a guitar-wielding Rihanna the new Jimi Hendrix? Assuming, of course, that she learns how to play the thing?

—Who wins a mixed martial arts fight: David Archuleta or Aaron Kelly?

—And based on her outfit during last night's group number, should Crystal Bowersox change her name to Crystal GoGoBoots?

Were you happy to see Big Mike saved?

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He certainly wasn't the worst.
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This is news?
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They shouldn't have saved him. I don't get what's so great about him.
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I greatly respect Michael Lynche _but_ he performed badly this week. I love Eleanor Rigby and he truly did a bad job. I'm not sure where I see him directed were he to win this season. More importantly, I feel that the use of the single "Save" that the judges have to be wrongly used. I'm not saying that Michael Lynche wasn't a good singer overall but with the number of people left in the competition what will happen if one week people vote off Crystal Bowersox who has long since proven she is star material. Looking at the remaining contestants there are a few standouts in my mind who I can easily see as marketable. Katie Stevens is young, bubbly to the point of appearing to be ADHD and cute. She has an amazing voice and I am tired of seeing her being told to sing younger songs. When she is natural and sings what she wants then she sounds good but when she sings what they want it's just not as good and doesn't show off her voice. Casey James has the ability to belt out blues and also has shown a restrained sensitive side. The guy has an individuality and he's simply great. Siobahn Magnus is quirky and weird but she also can look amazing when she is photographed. She has a voice and ability to hit notes that just blows people away and I don't think we've seen the extent of her abilities. She's damn good. Lastly, Crystal Bowersox has her own style and just appears to do everything her own way and it comes out great. She's talented beyond belief. Either Andrew Garcia or Tim Urban should have been the ones to go this week. With next week turning into a double elimination I can see Andrew and Tim on the chopping block again. They could be joined by Aaron Kelly or Le DeWyze. If Michael somehow ends up being voted off next week that would be a wasted save by the judges. One of the females voted off a few weeks back was on David Letterman and essentially said that the worst place to find yourself after the judging is "in the middle". The people at the top survive and the people on the bottom survive. Michael Lynche's performance was... in the middle this week. Tim Urban and Andrew Garcia were lacking. As much as I like Lee DeWyze his perormance was mediocre and I was surprised he wasn't in the bottom three. Katie Stevens, Siohanh Magnus, and Crystal Bowersox all performed well and were safe as they should be. With only 3 women left I hope they all hang on longer because there are too many men still in the competition who simply don't belong to be there.
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Big Mike shouldn't feel to bad if his style isn't necessarily mainstream, because mainstream is crap now-a-days anyway. As for Aaron Kelly, I don't think I have ever held so much bitterness for someone on Idol as much as I do for him, I just can't stand him, and I don't know way, of course the fact that he's 16 and looks 11 doesn't help either.
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Big Mike shouldn't feel to bad if his style isn't necessarily mainstream, because mainstream is crap now-a-days anyway. As for Aaron Kelly, I don't think I have ever held so much bitterness for someone on Idol as much as I do for him, I just can't stand him, and I don't know way, of course the fact that he's 16 and looks 11 doesn't help either.
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Happy for Big Mike, can't understand why he was eliminated in the first place. What's wrong with American voters? They can't seem to recognise talent at all.
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The only thing I'd be happy to see when it came to American Idol is if it got canceled. Sorry Big Mike or whoever else is on this lame show, but American Idol has gotten old, very fast.
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America is crazy.
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America clearly can't vote. That's just it!!
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The problem with people like Big Mike, Andrew Garcia, Katie, and Crystal is that they have to solely rely on musical prowess and create a wow effect to get votes. Cos these guys can't clearly electrify the stage with their looks or presence. Crystal has been doing that consistently, so I don't see her being voted off till the last 3. While you have people like Tim Urban, who are okay at times, horrible mostly, but they work out a charm and get saved week after week. Can't complain, that's how the season rolls.
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